Editor’s Note: The tragic events in Paris, terrorism and war throughout the world, show geopolitical risk remains high. These risks will likely impact economies and financial markets and will see continuing safe haven demand for gold. “The future is uncertain and gold is the most effective insurance against that.”
It's not just tourism and retail sales that might swoon--global sentiment might switch decisively from "risk-on" to "risk-off" with far-reaching consequences, a reversal that would quickly cascade through every asset class and every market--not just in the short-term, but in the long term.
Global policymakers have gone to incredible measures to stabilize market, financial and economic backdrops. Yet reflationary measures will continue to only further destabilize. When policy-induced “risk on” is overpowering global securities markets, fragilities remain well concealed. Fragilities, however, swiftly manifest with the reappearance of “risk off.” Rather quickly securities markets demonstrate their proclivity for illiquidity and so-called “flash crashes.” So after an unsettled week in global markets, the critical issue is whether “risk on” is giving way to “risk off” dynamics.
For the latest bit of evidence that global trade is indeed in free fall, look no further than the container terminals at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Calif. and around New York harbor which handle more than 50% of seaborne freight coming into the US. As it turns out, “peak” season turned out to be anything but.
Greenspan’s phony disinflation success led to the Fed’s embrace of fully mobilized and massively intrusive monetary policy in the guise of the Great Moderation and the wealth effects theory of financial asset levitation. In due course, Greenspan’s self-aggrandizing but purely experimental forays of massive central bank intrusion in the financial markets were supplanted by the hard-core Keynesian model of Bernanke and Yellen. Alas, they operated under the grand illusion that a domestic wage and price spiral would tell them when the domestic GDP bathtub was filled to the full employment brim, and therefore when to lift their foot from the monetary accelerator. It never happened, and they never did. The era of Lite Touch monetary policy was by now ancient history.
"Back in 2008, in the midst of a crisis of global proportions, Ernst Stavro Paulson and the enigmatic Dr.Yes brought SPECTRE out of the shadows and into the collective conscious of the world. They did so by seemingly offering a cunning solution to the fears that gripped mankind in the wake of the GFC—free money!"
"It is already too late. Having delayed way beyond the point when it might typically have raised rates in previous cycles, it has allowed an Orc-like monster to incubate, hatch and emerge into the sunlight, snarling and ready to do battle."
While the U.S. equity markets, until the last few days, seemed unconcerned about the prospects of the rate hike, the so called canaries in the coal mine are once again sending troubling signals, as the consequences of a reversal of Fed policy after 7 years of crisis management are significant, and the stresses are amplified as policy change looks likely to occur while most other central banks are taking the opposite monetary policy tact.
The world of Bubble Finance economies created by the Fed and other central banks is fundamentally different than that prevailing under the “Lite Touch” monetary policies which preceded the Greenspan era. The problem today is that the PhDs running the Fed have an economic model which is a relic of the Lite Touch era. It is not only utterly irrelevant in today’s casino driven system, but is actually tantamount to a blindfold. It causes them to look at a dashboard full of lagging indicators like jobs and GDP components, while ignoring the explosive leading indicators starring them in the face on CNBC. The clueless inhabitants of the Eccles Building do not recognize that they have created a world in which Wall Street supersedes main street.
It's 2000 meters undersea.
Gold bullion coin and bar demand surged in Q3 as gold’s continuing COMEX driven price weakness in July and sharp falls in stock markets in China and globally in August saw store of wealth buyers internationally again accumulate bullion.
Good Thing Debt Doesn't Matter! </sarc>
"This will most likely drive a drawdown much like the one we saw in 2009 and 2010."
In "Permazero", Fed's Bullard Admits US May Be Entering Permanent Period Of Lower Inflation And Interest RatesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/12/2015 09:20 -0500
The most important thing Bullard said in his speech titled "Permazero" is that the the US may be entering a permanent period of lower inflation and interest rates. Wait, wasn't ZIRP and QE supposed to push the US economy, boost inflation and hike rates? Good to know 7 years later that the biggest monetary experiment in history did precisely the opposite of what it was supposed to achieve.
Today’s dilemma – for financial markets and central bankers – is that pushing back against nascent “risk off” unleashes another forceful bout of “risk on.” At this point, it’s either Bubble on or off – destabilizing either way. The global Bubble has grown too distended and the market backdrop too dysfunctional. Central bankers over the past 25 years have created excessive “money,” while incentivizing too much finance into financial speculation. There is now way too much “money” crowded into the securities and derivative markets, and the upshot is an increasingly hostile backdrop for leverage and speculation.